Not long after the IAB's consumer facing website launched last week, intending to build confidence in behavioural targeting, Google has publicly announced that the content network will run just such targeting. This is the sort of thing that has been needed for a while, in order to boost the effectiveness of the content network for advertisers. (If we see any significant improvements on our Client campaigns when testing this, we'll be sure to mention it here).
It will be interesting to see what the reaction to this new Google targeting is, especially after previous public response to Phorm. It's also, very interesting to see that Google are trying to distance themselves from this previous public "outcry"; Google UK director, Mark Howe, has been quoted as saying:
"Phorm didn't "bring transparency, and there was no involvement for the user. It's the complete opposite here [with Google]…the uniqueness of our programme is that it is based on interests and activity and that users have the ability to use the ad preferences manager to edit and control it."
The IAB are already responding to the Google announcement. We'll be keeping a keen eye on how the IAB responds to any subsequent consumer reaction and also to see if the ability to "manage preferences" is enough to satisy the requirements of the previous complainants.
[UPDATE: Official Google post here]